“You’re a gentleman and a rare honest person in this crooked world we currently live in. You will definitely be part of the memorable and pleasant experiences we had in building this house. Thanks again for everything. Never change.”

Oliver Y.

The Back Story

We were contacted by the New Jersey developer while the house was still in the design phase. Working closely with the architect, Larry Appel, and the homeowner, we designed a modified Victorian-style bay conservatory with a roof lantern. The home has a very traditional design, with the mahogany conservatory as a showpiece of the house. The room is 500 sf., and overlooks the owner’s in-ground swimming pool. The tall side walls float the lantern roof like a halo.

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The conservatory climbs to a whole new height, literally, 45′ from the ground. The conservatory is designed to compliment the architecture of the home’s dramatic height. The conservatory is the crown jewel of the home – tall and graceful, strong and sturdy, designed to look frail and delicate but withstand the fierce New Jersey winters.

Barely noticed in the design is a steel beam that runs up the center of the room and around the lantern. The steel ‘portal’ acts as a support that carries the load of the room. We wrapped the column in mahogany and made it a design feature.

The homeowner and architect met with Conservatory Craftsmen and were thrilled to have the option of building this signature conservatory from Sepele Mahogany grown in sustainable-growth plantations. The look and character of the wood gives stunning detail to this house which, in itself, has magnificent architectural detail. All of the interior finishing is also done in mahogany. Special wood finishes, designed in Sweden, prevent the bright sun from fading the fine detail of the interior space.

Chandeliers, sought out and installed by the owners and interior designers, weigh over 500 pounds each and are hand-made crystal. These chandeliers hang easily from the steel portal frames that support the conservatory structure.

The gothic arches in the side wall glass are particularly impressive. These specialty muntins are hand cut from mahogany and applied over inner spacer bars in the glass, we call this True Divided Lite and it gives the appearance of individual panes of glass. The roof lantern windows are leaded and have glass bevels to catch the sunrise and sunset and cast lovely rainbows about the room.


APPEL DESIGN GROUP, P.A., ARCHITECTS (ADG) was originally founded in 1961 by Burton Appel as a sole proprietorship architectural firm. Under the leadership of Laurance Appel since 1993, the firm has continued to grow in size and has the ability to take on larger and more challenging design projects.

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The success of the firm is directly attributable to an emphasis on professional service and expertise in creative problem solving. The principals and staff encourage an interactive design process with the client, ensuring a design solution clearly addressing each project’s requirements. ADG is recognized for implementing projects which are both creatively and effectively designed as well as logically constructed. This strength is continually proven by the large number of clients who return to us with repeat commissions as well as recognition with numerous design awards.